The year 2014 saw a resurgence of BJP in Rajasthan as it made a clean sweep of all the Lok Sabha seats at stake and dominated the polls to the civic bodies while the government introduced key schemes related to skill development, infrastructure and growth.
However, it suffered some setback in the assembly bypolls when it lost three out of four seats.
BJP’s good show in the Lok Sabha elections not only left nothing for Congress to cheer about but also did not spare leaders like BJP rebel Jaswant Singh, who contested as an Independent against the saffron party’s candidate.
Analysts said it was ‘Mission-25’ (an aim to win all the 25 seats) of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje after the Assembly election results last year that motivated the party workers to help it win all the seats.
All the candidates fielded by BJP, including four sitting legislators, and ace shooter and Olympian Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, went on to win the elections.
Sitting MLA Sanwarlal Jat, who was also a minister in Raje Cabinet, defeated state Congress chief Sachin Pilot in Ajmer whereas former Congress leader Col Sonaram, who defected to BJP before ticket announcement, won the keenly watched seat of Barmer drubbing Jaswant.
Jaswant’s decision to contest as an Independent after being denied a ticket not only pushed himself to the wall but also brought trouble for his MLA son Manvendra Singh who was suspended by the party from its primary membership.
After losing the polls, the 76-year-old former External Affairs Minister is now battling for life in a hospital in Delhi following critical head injury suffered after a fall.
Congress candidates including Girija Vyas, Bhanwar Jitendra Singh, Namonarain Meena and Chandresh Kumari, who were ministers at the Centre, faced humiliating defeats.
Despite the huge success, BJP, however, suffered a jolt in bypolls when its tally reduced to 160 from 163 (in a house of 200) as it lost three out of four assembly seats. Congress surprisingly wrested the three seats.
However, BJP regained the lost ground by winning maximum civic bodies.
“The party’s overall performance was excellent and we returned to power in the state in December last year because of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s works in her earlier term and we repeated the success in General election in May,” Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria told PTI.
“People voted for good governance and showed faith in the party,” he said.